Lovin' time at Coon Hollow Farm

Lovin' time at Coon Hollow Farm
Our Olde English "Babydoll" Sheep and their lambs

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Suspicious Minds!

Today was shearing day and with our moving about the gang began to grow very suspicious. The stares and the humming was quite funny as they knew we were up to something.

The shearers showed up as we were racing against the rain and got right to work starting on the goats...

then the alpacas.

Haircuts, teeth and hooves were all trimmed in about an hour...

and we put it in the books for another year. Naked animals and some beautiful fiber for some future projects!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Well at least they use it!

Well at least someone is getting some use out of it! We have been a bit busy lately with not a lot of time to just sit back and relax but the chickens do! Relaxed chickens make good eggs!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

We are in eggs up to our ears!

Going back to December, I posted that we were being forced to buy eggs due to our chickens coming to a complete halt in production! Well now we have so many eggs, they are piling up! This is our production just over the weekend! Remember our farm sells our X-large brown eggs for just $3.00 a dozen!!! Stop by and treat yourself to some fresh, delicious tasting eggs!!!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The greenhouse gets a Spring makeover

The greenhouse needed new shelves so Tim set out to change them with some new shelving and the proper tools!

The plants were momentarily kicked out but the day was wonderful Our Bay trees and some herbs that are not quite ready to go out enjoyed the sun.

Tim worked around the chickens and supplies to remove the old shelves. He put in more support beams to make the shelves more steady and heartier.

New beautiful shelves that aren't sagging! I was using wood wedges to hold the plants level. A new outer wall was also replaced and the greenhouse is like brand new!

Friday, April 15, 2016

A Mister for the ages

I picked this Mister at a local Pet Store after we purchased one for our animals at work that live in tanks. It delivers an amazing long stream or mist. I thought how amazing it would be in our greenhouse!

So it looks like our little Mister may retire. It sure is easier to push a button than to pump a thousand times! As the greenhouse begins to fill with plants this will make watering chores a whole lot easier!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

The end of maple season..

Maple season has come to an end, sadly Tim had little time for it this year. He made enough for us for the year but sorry to our customers, we will not have Tim's wonderful syrup for sale this year.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

It worked! The bees made it!

I got up early this morning, ran up to let the chickens out and checked the bees, no one was flying. The temperatures were forecast to be in the 60's. I went up and went up, still no flying, I tapped on the hives and to my wondering ears, I heard buzzing! Patiently I waited until about 11:00 am until I saw the first bee come out for a cleansing flight! I suited up, got some pollen patties ready to put in and went up to take a look!

The hive that we lost in December was loaded with honey so I pulled a few frames to put into the two surviving hives.

 I opened the first hive to see these beautiful girls! It appears putting the shavings in the feeders absorbed a lot of condensation. As I removed it and tipped it a lot of liquid came out. The condensation dripped onto the shavings, the candy board sugar too giving the bees something sweet to pick on.

When the feeder was removed it revealed a big beautiful cluster of sweet healthy girls! I did a quick inspection and found the queen who was unmarked because they had re-queened in late fall. I quickly caught and marked her. The second hive netted a bigger even larger batch of bees! We are looking good for honey bee keeping season!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Oh my Garth!

After a night of rough storms all I could say was "oh my!" when I went down to the barnyard! Garth's beautiful fiber was soaked and full of leaves and debris. We did not shear him last year so he could get a nice long staple grown. Tomorrow is all about getting dried off and brushed out!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

We are back in eggs!

We are back in eggs! The girls are laying at an amazing rate! About 2 dozen a day,we are running out of room to put them! The chickens are singing their egg song in three part harmony daily!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Excuse my absence...but...

I have a baby shower to plan!!! I have been a bit busy getting ready for our new grand child to arrive. Today was a snow day so I got busy beginning the process of making the shower favors. I began making soap with some lye water...

and some measured olive and coconut oils as well as vegetable shortening...

got my temperatures right and combined the two, stired and stired and stired creating Saponification.

added up some lavender and lavender oil...

and there we are! Lavender soap which is baby's mama Sarah's favorite as well as mine! Stay tuned, I am piecing together a beautiful gift for the baby and will get back to farm news soon!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Snow Day!!!

Yesterday was a snow day! It just snowed and snowed all day, making it a laid back and lazy day. No where to go and not much to do except getting out to tend the animals. Autumn always accompanies me to put the alpacas and goats away for the evening.
They were fine with the storm, after all it's their weather! Everyone was beded down with a thick layer of straw as we enjoyed our snow day by raiding the refrigerator, kicking back on the couch and enjoying the day as the snow fell!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Staple length is everything!

This weekend I was grooming my Angora rabbits and as I was plucking some of the under coat from "Tawny", it was coming out at over 6 inches! She is one of my best wool producers! Even at over tow years old, producing a litter, she still grows out the most amazing and thick coat. This will spin up nicely into some gorgeous yarns!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Winter bee feeding with new theories!

The unusually warm winter here in Connecticut has enabled me to procrastinate in feeding the honeybees. Winter is beginning to set in so today I got to it! I pulled out the candy boards and got to work...
I scooped out just enough for 15 pounds of sugar to make three candy boards.

Then added 48 ounces of water to the big pot and brought it to a boil.

This year I tacked this flexible card board material to the board to allow the "candy" to cling to it.

Once the sugar and water came to the sugar stage after much beating, I poured it into the boards and took them outside to quickly cool.

My friend Kisha and I have talked a lot about how to better winterize the bees and reduced moisture in the hive. We saw a man selling a system and he used pine shavings to help collect the moisture.

We are both going about our theories in different ways. Mine is keeping my feeders on top of the hive, filling the feeders with shavings...

then inverting the candy board on top of that. My theory hopes the bees go up between the feeder, eat the "candy" and stay free of moisture. I allowed a couple of venting spaces and am hoping for the best. As I was installing this I discovered that my weaker hive had already died so fingers crossed for the two plus Kisha's hive that we hope to bring through winter!

So, tops are on, secured with heavy rocks, vented and fingers crossed until Spring, rest well girls!

Monday, January 4, 2016

A warmer than usual winter, but the herbs love it!

I went out to feed the chickens this morning and we finally have a frozen ground. It has been unusually warm here in southern New England. Tonight we are finally getting single digit temperatures so it was time to bring the Bay trees in from the greenhouse. They have thrived and done well out there but we have had them for a long time and I don't want to risk loosing them. It is also time to harvest the rest of the hardy herbs like the rosemary and sage that are doing well but after tonight not so much!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Fare thee well 2015

2015 was a good year. It started off with some goals that I wanted to reach. One was learning hearth cooking. It's fun and challenging all at the same time. The ladies I work with at the Colonial House like to get together so we can hone our skills and feast too! Above is something called Apple Charolette, an old dish named after King George of the 18th centuries lovely wife.

Another goal was to learn, the Paddle and Tape loom, of for which I quickly realized I did not like at all! All that erect sitting was not for me!

The year brought us one of the snowiest winters we had ever seen.

The ladies of the Humphreys House always make my day fun. There is nothing better than working in an environment that is nurturing and fun. I just love everyone I work with there and to spend the day as a Colonial Woman is just the best!

We had our first litter of English Angora bunnies born on the farm! Tawny was an amazing mother and we kept two of them!

Different textiles and techniques were explored

But one of the most amazing things of the year was finding out we are going to be grandparents for the first time!!!

Here it is! Our little marshmallow who is expected in mid March of 2016! We are so excited, we talk all the time about what the child will be like and how much we are looking to be a part of the life of our Grandchild.

Which led us to the decision to sell our Olde English Babydoll sheep. We decided it was time to let them go and were quite pleased with the buyer who took them. She will continue our legacy with our herd. I miss them terribly and often think about them, they took a piece of my heart with them.

We had the best year yet with our bees. With the bad winter we had to replace every hive but bought strong healthy bees that brought in an amazing harvest!

My fiber interest have changed and have fallen in love with mohair! We had the chance to home these two Angora goats so Maddy and Pru came to live on Coon Hollow Farm! We bred Maddy so hopefully we will be expecting some mohair kids in the Spring!

A wonderful opportunity I got this year was to head up an after school program at my Nature Center! I get to share my passion with Nature and hang out with awesome kids who enjoy exploring and having fun!

I was gifted this awesome loom which will be next on my journey!

Autumn still is on guard and we are hoping next year to add another guardian dog so she can take a break and not work as hard!

So as we bid adu to 2015, we look forward to 2016 and wish everyone a wonderful New Year!